KELOWNA (NEWS1130) – The mid-February Family Day long weekend means many families are heading out to ski resorts they wouldn’t normally visit at this time of year.

Big White, just outside of Kelowna, is going to be staffing its accommodations and restaurants as if it were Christmas.

The resort’s Michael Ballingal is happy the weekend falls mid-February, which is typically slow.

“Half of our crowd is coming from the Lower Mainland and we are talking 8,000 people arriving at the resort for the long weekend,” he adds.

He stresses the early-February timing of the long weekend is something the resorts had lobbied for. They didn’t want Family Day to coincide with the American President’s Day, which falls on the third Monday of the month. President’s Day long weekend already draws big crowds of Americans to BC slopes.

“The timing has worked because Sun Peaks, Silver Star, Big White, Apex, all in the Okanagan Valley, have increased their reservations on the mountains for this weekend, so we are all very excited,” says Ballingal.

He says this long weekend will wind up being the third busiest holiday of the season, after Christmas and President’s Day.

All ski hills in BC are offering lift tickets at 50 per cent off for the day.